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China: Around The Nation

Prestigious Chinese school slammed for awarding top pupils with millions in cash

Prize money totalling 8 million yuan meant to attract outstanding pupils to the senior high school

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 November, 2016, 1:27pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 November, 2016, 1:53pm

Photographs showing a school in eastern China handing out bundles of cash to pupils as part of prize money totalling 8 million yuan (HK$9 million) has sparked a storm on mainland social media, with internet users labelling the school “redneck rich”.

Cangnan County Shuren Middle School, in affluent Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, awarded the cash to those pupils who did well in their senior high school entrance examinations, the news portal Sina.com reported.

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About 2.8 million yuan was presented to the pupils in cash during the award ceremony, with the remaining funds transferred to their bank accounts, according to the report.

Those pupils who performed extremely well in the exams were given 100,000 yuan, 50,000 yuan or 40,000 yuan each at the ceremony, the report said.

The privately run senior high school, established in 1995, is one of the most prestigious in Wenzhou.

It was unclear from the report how many pupils received the cash prizes.

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There are about 1,200 pupils at the school, according to a post on its website in January.

The school said it hoped to attract outstanding pupils by giving out the money as an incentive.

But some internet users expressed surprise at the school’s method for attracting excellent pupils, labelling it “redneck rich” and “capricious” – terms that have been used online to describe the antics of China’s nouveau riche.